As all business owners are aware, there are many financial must-haves when running a small business. This can be everything from having accountants in place, through to ensuring that your premises are paid for. However, one item that many businesses don't pay enough attention to is their insurance coverage, even though this is potentially one of the most important areas to make sure you have covered.
Whatever the size of your company, making sure that you are covered in all sorts of events, such as a customer falling on your premises through to a flood, is absolutely vital. You must ensure that you are protected against any and all types of eventuality. The hardest part of deciding on insurance coverage is knowing and understanding which forms of protection you will need. This will come down to many factors from the size of your company through to the premises you work from. To give you a helping hand, here are the absolute musts for small business insurance to ensure that you and your company are safe in the long run.
Professional indemnity insurance is one of the most important policies you can get as this protects you against negligence claims caused by your company's advice or products. There are many companies that offer various forms of this absolutely essential insurance;
The main importance of this cover is to protect you if someone is physically or mentally harmed by your product. Many small businesses don't feel that they need this cover if they don't supply a physical product, but this insurance also covers you for the service information you supply so it is absolutely imperative that you be covered.
Public liability is another insurance policy that you must have in place if you have even one member of the public visiting your place of work or using your product. There aren't many companies without contact with customers, and accidents could always occur at any given time, so it's always best to be prepared for them. If, for example a customer was to trip within your office, not only could you become liable for a lawsuit for injuries caused, but you can imagine how much money your company may have to cover for the injured party's loss of earning, legal costs or even medical bills. There have been many small businesses that have actually closed their doors due to lawsuits of this nature, so to protect yourself and all your hard work, consider your needs for public liability insurance.
If you have your own office premises, then you may need more cover than if you simply work out of your home. AXA public liability insurance, for example, offers the option for the business owner to work with the company's consultants to find the right policy and level of coverage for their needs.
This is a form of insurance that is now mandatory in many countries. If you have one or more employees, it's important and even required by law that you sign on for this type of insurance. If an employee is harmed while on the job or falls ill as a direct result of your business, this sort of insurance can assist you from an otherwise potential bankruptcy from medical and lawsuit costs.
You will often find that you will need to have a health and safety officer check your premises before you take out the insurance policy; this is now standard practice in many countries. The health and safety certificate will then need to be displayed for all your staff to see. Do you also need this insurance if you have set up a home-based business? If you have even one employee, then short the answer is yes. Your home policy will not cover this and may even become redundant if an employee falls ill whilst in your home.